What if I travel to… Amsterdam, Netherlands? ($35/day)

Near Centraal Station

Amsterdam seems to appear on everyone’s must visit list of Western Europe, and though I find the hype a bit much, a long weekend here is worth the stop. Central Amsterdam is walkable, historic, and gorgeous. Try to be a traveler instead of a tourist and skip the mainstream coffee shops and Red Light District.

  • Free walking tours happen nearly every day of the year in a plethora of languages, but a free map and self guided tour can often be more rewarding
  • If just arriving without a plan, hop the train to Amsterdam Centraal for access to the main tourist area, old districts, and majority of hostels
  • Watch out for cyclist, they are the gods of the streets and will let you know it
  • Hop on the back of the number 5 trolley at night for a free ride around town
  • In front of the palace you will find lots of street performers and tourist traps, beware!
  • Leidseplein Pub Crawl is the best way to meet backpackers, starting with vodka poured heavily by the bottle and ending at someplace I never made it to. No wonder the slogan is “A night you won’t remember but never forget!” (roughly 17 euro)
  • During late autumn/early winter is wonderfully less crowded but the weather changes every half hour wind/rain/hail/sun/rain/etc.
  • The White Tulip is a decent hostel with a good location but poor common area, I did meet multiple backpackers who swore by CLINK as wonderfully social, despite being a brief ferry trip away from the central area. (I can personally vouch for CLINK’s sister hostels in London as great accommodations)
  • Skip the ATM fees in the Netherlands and instead get cashback at the market, the easiest one is located inside central station
  • Here is a list of Dutch food to try, I enjoyed the pub snacks myself
One of many padlocked bridges on the edge of the Red Light District, just 5 minutes from the End Karaoke
  • Check out The End Karaoke for a lively bar atmosphere, decent prices, and fun staff
  • BEWARE of illegal mushroom sales, although truffles are still legal, the traditional mushrooms went off the shelves after a tourist death in 2008. Coffee shops will still offer the wares to tourist but they are not to be underestimated

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